Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Today's Forecast: Missing My Dad

My dad loved the weather. Growing up in a poor sharecropper family, keeping an eye on the weather was crucial. But his interest went far beyond that. After he died in 1996, we unearthed a 5-year diary he had kept during his days as a WWII Navy Seabee and the surrounding years. Each day probably had 4-6 sentences about what happened that day.

Every single day he recorded the weather for that day.

He was the first of his family to go to college, a privilege only made possible by the Navy. As a Seabee, it makes sense that he became a mechanical engineer, but I always wondered if he secretly wished to be a meteorologist.

Each year he cut the Hurricane Tracking Chart out of the paper and plotted whatever storms threatened or came into the Gulf. One of his all-time favorite gifts was the cross-stitched tracking chart I made and framed for him.

We have old 8mm home movies of the early stages of Hurricane Carla moving into Galveston in September 1961. I was barely a month old, but he drove with the rest of the kids the hour to Galveston to watch it. He was so utterly cautious and conservative in every other aspect of his life that it still amazes me that he did that.

And last September, I joked that he was on the front row of heaven (and probably asked God to time it as such) when my mom died the morning Hurricane Ike hit the Texas coast!

(The first Thanksgiving and Christmas after he died didn't bother me too much. The first hurricane season? Caught me totally off-guard and blew me away! Pun intended!)

And while I'm not as avid as my dad, I do like weather. The extremes are fascinating, and it's an incredible display of God's power.

So of course I had to document the last half of this scorching, sweltering, searing month that is finally coming to a close.

Austin High Temperatures, June 2009

June 13 - 100
June 14 - 100
June 15 - 101
June 16 - 101
June 17 - 100
June 18 - 100
June 19 - 97
June 20 - 102
June 21 - 101
June 22 - 101
June 23 - 103
June 24 - 105
June 25 - 106
June 26 - 105
June 27 - 105
June 28 - 103
June 29 - 106

I don't know what caused the "cold front" on the 19th; it's not like we got a single drop of rain the entire month! Although I do hear some rumbles off in the distance this morning. One can only hope. I better check the radar.

I am my daddy's girl!


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Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

What a precious gift to unearth that diary! Sounds like one great dad :)

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

I too miss my daddy so. He went to be with Jesus in 1994 almost 15 years ago. I do not like the anniversary of his death. When I realize it is that day, i can't even breathe if I think about it.

It's funny the things we remember about our daddy's. My dad had the most distinct handwriting and saved everything I could that had his signature of writing on it. I still look at it from time to time and it just tears me up!

I am glad you have good memories of your dad. I do too and we are blessed.

My ADHD Me said...

This was one of my favorite posts of yours that I have read.

I had never heard of a Seabee. I checked out your link and was very interested to learn about them. You had a hero in the family. (actually you had 2....all the wives that stayed home while their husbands were away were also heroes).

Also, I've always loved weather. My grandfather, who was the first paid fire chief in his area, always loved the weather. He also said there were few things on this earth that he was afraid of, but lightening and water were at the top of the list. No stopping either. (even fire is predictable and can be contained).

Thank you for sharing this with us.

P.S. Hot here in VA but you definitely have us beat! Thank goodness you had a break with that cold front. lol

Mocha with Linda said...

I totally agree about the wives. . . but my folks didn't meet until they were in college after the War was over! They married in 1947 when my dad was 25 and my mom was 20.

A Stone Gatherer said...

He is with the ultimate meterologist now! Reading this made me wish he had become one too! I gotta ask you how are you handling that weather?! When we were in Mississippi I thought I would just die from the heat and your alot hotter then we were!!!!!

Lisa writes... said...

Whew, girl, that's HOT!

Thanks for sharing about your dad.

Chatty Kelly said...

I loved your post too! Your dad sounds so neat, and I love that you cross stitched a chart for him. I know it made his day.

What a loving tribute. Thanks for sharing.

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

What lovely memories of your dad. Thanks for sharing


Kim said...

I still have my Daddy - he turned 80 in January. He too LOVES the weather! Always a weather radio going and always weather-reading gadgets sitting about the house and "posted" in the yard. Precious memories...how they linger...how they ever touch the soul...

Thanks for this great post! A beautiful tribute!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I bet he would have loved this post.

Suzanne said...

Loved that memory of your dad. Especially that description of him as a non-risk taker...yet loving the unpredictability of weather!